(Image source from: The Law Offices of Marcin Podskarbi)
As many as 717 citizens of India are currently incarcerated in the jails of Canada and the United States for either illegally entering those countries or for overstaying their visas.
Minister of State for External Affairs (MEA), V K Singh, informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the authorities in Canada and the United States did not "readily share" information about the citizens of India in their jails, due to the "strict provisions of privacy laws". He, however, added in a written response to a question from Lok Sabha member Ashwini Kumar that 717 citizens of India were lodged in the jails in the U.S. and Canada for "overstay" and "illegal entry" as per the information available with the Ministry of External Affairs on July 26.
Singh informed the Lok Sabha that the MEA had received complaints from time to time about illegal recruitment agents, who had sent citizens of India abroad on tourist visas for employment.
"On receipt of details of such illegal agents involved in unauthorized recruitment for overseas employment, the same is forwarded to the concerned State or Union Territory Government and police authorities urging them to apprehend illegal agents and prosecute them on the basis of complaints," Singh informed the lower house of Parliament. "This is necessary as Law and Order is a state subject."
The MEA issues sanctions to the State or UT Governments and police for prosecuting the illegal agents, he added.
Singh informed the Rajya Sabha separately that the Ministry of External Affairs referred to the State and UT Governments altogether 446 complaints against illegal recruitment agents in 2017 as they were accused of illegally sending people abroad for employment. The State and the UT Governments had sought prosecution sanctions in 30 such cases and the MEA had granted sanctions in all the 30 cases.
In the first six months of 2018, the government had referred 231 such cases to the State and UT Governments, which had sought prosecution sanctions in three cases. The MEA had issued sanctions in all the three cases, the minister informed the upper house of parliament.
By Sowmya Sangam